Kentucky’s Senate Bill 90

By Daniel Nardini

Lawndale News Chicago's Bilingual Newspaper - CommentaryThere are a whole lot of things wrong with the State of Kentucky’s Senate Bill 90. While those who sponsored the bill say it is to protect doctors, nurses and even health insurance companies who wish to exercise their religious “rights” and conscience, the bill in effect actually can give them a green light to discriminate on the basis of their religious convictions. There are a number of scenarios where this is possible. For example, a doctor could refuse to treat a woman who wishes to obtain an abortion. A receptionist could refuse to admit a patient who is seeking help or medication for psychological issues. A health insurance company could deny a woman coverage for receiving abortion pills. There is a possibility that a patient could be denied health care if a doctor or nurse does not want to treat someone who is of a different religion from them. The bill gives way too much latitude for what health care professionals can do on religious grounds.

Of course, this is happening in one of the most reactionary states in the country. I guess in too many ways I cannot be surprised since this is the same state that has used public tax dollars for the building of the Creation Museum and a so-called full-scale model of Noah’s Ark. As if this monstrosity is not enough, all employees of the Creation Museum had to sign a special contract waiver that while employed at this place could not engage in pre-marital relations (since when is this anyone business?!), cannot be gay, and must believe in the whole story of creation of the world by God and that the planet is 6,000 years old. This, despite all of the geological, astronomical, and paleontology evidence that the Earth is well over 4 billion years old, is what passes as “fact” in Kentucky. Add on to this the fact that Kentucky wants to force people to work at least 20 hours a week or more to receive their Medicaid (even if they are crippled and old), and you get a state that is purely medieval. Looked upon this way, Kentucky Senate Bill 90 is just one more piece of reactionary and extremist legislation to hurt the poor, the needy, the recipients on Medicaid and welfare, and anyone else who may need state help the most. On the other hand, I am now becoming ever more grateful that I am living in Illinois where the governor and legislature are not this crazy. For all the problems Illinois has, I am now giving thanks I live in this state rather than the state on our southeastern border.

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